La Liga: Barcelona 3-1 Real Mallorca

BARCELONA failed to sparkle without star man Lionel Messi last night but still had enough class to see off Real Mallorca.

The Argentinian ace missed out after returning late from his festive holiday and had to watch from the stand alongside his idol Diego Maradona.

League leaders Barca struggled without their wing wizard at the Nou Camp and fell behind to a goal from Aritz Aduriz before bouncing back to win 3-1.

Thierry Henry levelled before half-time and late goals from Andres Iniesta and Yaya Toure sealed victory.

Aduriz was a major threat for Mallorca and only a fine tackle from Eric Abidal stopped the striker from scoring early on.

Barca then threatened at the other end as a fantastic pass from Toure picked out Samuel Eto'o who volleyed wide.

That should have been the start of a Barcelona siege but Mallorca stunned the Nou Camp after 15 minutes.

Former Athletic Bilbao star Aduriz showed great skill to burst past two players then sent a superb 16-yard chip over Victor Valdes for the opener.

It was a goal Messi or Maradona would have been proud of but Barca's Eidur Gudjohnsen almost came up with an even better strike after 27 minutes.

Xavi pulled a corner back to the edge of the box and the former Chelsea star's stunning shot clipped the top of the bar.

Mallorca keeper German Lux then made a good save to deny Toure before Henry levelled in 32 minutes.

Carles Puyol headed on a Xavi corner and the Frenchman took one touch before drilling a great shot past Lux.

Pep Guardiola's men struggled to make chances after the break but got a boost when Iniesta came off the bench for his first appearance after a long lay-off.

And the Spain midfielder fired Barca ahead with 15 minutes left.

Mallorca screamed for offside when a Xavi shot fell to Gudjohnsen in the box but the referee waved play on and Iniesta tapped home the Icelandic star's cross.

Josemi then saw red for Mallorca after picking up a second booking for a foul on Xavi before Toure made the game safe with a stunning solo goal in injury time.

The midfielder skipped past three players in the box then rifled a shot beyond helpless keeper Lux.

The win moved Barca 11 points clear at the top with Valencia jumping above Sevilla in second after a 3-1 home win over title rivals Atletico Madrid.

David Villa's penalty opener and a double from fit-again David Silva ended Atletico's 15-game unbeaten run in style.

Diego Forlan briefly gave the Madrid side hope when his spot-kick pulled it back to 2-1 just before half-time.

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